13.18: Naturally Revealing Character Motivation

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard

What motivates us? What really motivates us? Why? (Note: our motivations are probably not in service of some overarching plot.) How can we use this information to believably motivate characters?

Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson

Play

Take a character motivation and express it via free indirect speech. Now take something that has been expressed via free indirect speech and unpack it into the narrative.

The Ten Cent Plague, by David Hajdu, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki

13.17: What Writers Get Wrong, with Jamahl Crouch

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard, with Jamahl Crouch

Jamahl Crouch (Illusmm1 on Instagram) joined us at the GenCon Indy Writers Symposium to talk about what writers get wrong about street art. Jamahl is many things, and one of those is “street artist.”

Jamahl Crouch, pen on sketchbook, GenCon Indy 2017

We discuss the differences between graffiti and street art, where things like commissioned murals fit into the scene, and how the societal pressures (read: “it’s not legal to paint on this wall”) affect the form.

 

Play

Go watch The Get Down (available on Netflix)

Have a look at Jamal’s art on Instagram! Illusmm1

13.16: Avoiding Flat Characters

Your Hosts: Brandon, Valynne, Dan, and Howard

For our purposes, the term “flat character” refers to a character who lacks the depth required to maintain reader interest. In this episode we discuss how to avoid putting flat characters front-and-center in our writing, and how we go about fixing manuscripts that have flat character problems.

Play

Take a flat character from media you’ve consumed and write a backstory to make them less flat.

Artemis, by Andy Weir

Announcing the 2018 Writing Excuses Scholarship Recipients!

I tell you, this job gets harder every year. 2018 had more applicants than 2017, which had more applicants than 2016, and so on–and the quality goes up every year as well. Making these final decisions was incredibly difficult, and it broke our hearts to have to whittle the list down to five. But we managed to do it, and we are delighted to announce our 2018 Writing Excuses Scholarship Recipients (I don’t want to call them winners, because they earned this):

The Carl Brandon Scholarship:
Erin Roberts
Lindsay Wong

The Out of Excuses Scholarship:
Paige Vest
Billy Alan Palmer
Barbara Lund

A hearty round of applause for them, and for all of our applicants. You were all great, and if we could have brought you all to the retreat we would have. Keep writing! And if you see us at a con or an event somewhere, please say hi so we can shake your hand. It would be an honor to meet you.

13.15: What Writers Get Wrong, with Mike Stop Continues

Recorded live at WXR 2017.

Your Hosts: Dan, Mary, Aliette, and Howard, with special guest Mike Stop Continues

Mike has multiple areas of expertise, but for this episode he’s talking to us specifically about the things that writers get wrong about being a gay man.

Credits: This episode was recorded live by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Andrew Jackson.

Play

Change the sexual identity of a character in a scene of yours.

Underworld, by Mike Stop Continues

13.14: Character Nuance

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Amal, and Maurice

Let’s talk about characters who have conflict built right into them; characters whose attributes and attitudes might seem to contradict one another; characters who like, y’know… actual people.

(And let’s talk about how to write them.)

Play

Play with The Sorting Hat Chats, and sort yourself. There’s no quiz. You’ll have to do some reading in order to figure out how you fit in.

Buffalo Soldier, by Maurice Broaddus